Wetlands are the land area that is saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally, such that it takes on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem.
wetlands are generally distinguished from other water bodies or landforms based on their water level and on the type of plants that strive within them
characteristics of wetlands
- the water table (the groundwater level) is very near to the soil surface or shallow water covers the surface for at least the part of the year
- soils: wet or hydric soils develop recognizable characteristics after being saturated for several weeks. a mixture of brown and grey mottles near the surface usually means the water table fluctuates during the year and may support wetland vegetation. dark grey soils are usually very wet or hydric
- vegetation: wetland plants, called hydrophytes, are the most obvious indicator that one is standing in the wetland area. numerous field manuals are available to help identify wetlands plants